Free Will Astrology, Week Of September 8 


ARIES (March 21-April 19): "More and more I have come to admire resilience," writes Jane Hirshfield in her poem "Optimism." "Not the simple resistance of a pillow," she adds, "whose foam returns over and over to the same shape, but the sinuous tenacity of a tree: finding the light newly blocked on one side, it turns in another." You have not often had great access to this capacity in the past, Aries. Your specialty has been the fast and fiery style of adjustment. But for the foreseeable future, I'm betting you will be able to summon a supple staying power — a dogged, determined, incremental kind of resilience.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): "The fragrance from your mango groves makes me wild with joy." That's one of the lyrics in the national anthem of Bangladesh. Here's another: "Forever your skies . . . set my heart in tune as if it were a flute." Elsewhere, addressing Bangladesh as if it were a goddess, the song proclaims, "Words from your lips are like nectar to my ears." I suspect you may be awash with comparable feelings in the coming weeks, Taurus — not toward your country, but rather for the creatures and experiences that rouse your delight and exultation. They are likely to provide even more of the sweet mojo than they usually do. It will be an excellent time to improvise your own hymns of praise.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): There have been times in the past when your potential helpers disappeared just when you wanted more help than usual. In the coming weeks, I believe you will get redress for those sad interludes of yesteryear. A wealth of assistance and guidance will be available. Even people who have previously been less than reliable may offer a tweak or intervention that gives you a boost. Here's a tip for how to ensure that you take full advantage of the possibilities: Ask clearly and gracefully for exactly what you need.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Why grab the brain-scrambling moonshine when you may eventually be offered a heart-galvanizing tonic? Why gorge on hors d'oeuvres when a four-course feast will be available sooner than you imagine? According to my analysis of the astrological omens, my fellow Crab, the future will bring unexpected opportunities that are better and brighter than the current choices. This is one of those rare times when procrastination may be in your interest.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): As I hike up San Pedro Ridge, I'm mystified by the madrone trees. The leaves on the short, thin saplings are as big and bold as the leaves on the older, thicker, taller trees. I see this curiosity as an apt metaphor for your current situation, Leo. In one sense, you are in the early stages of a new cycle of growth. In another sense, you are strong and ripe and full-fledged. For you, this is a winning combination: a robust balance of innocence and wisdom, of fresh aspiration and seasoned readiness.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): I hope it's not too late or too early to give you a slew of birthday presents. You deserve to be inundated with treats, dispensations, and appreciations. Here's your first perk: You are hereby granted a license to break a taboo that is no longer useful or necessary. Second blessing: You are authorized to instigate a wildly constructive departure from tradition. Third boost: I predict that in the next six weeks, you will simultaneously claim new freedom and summon more discipline. Fourth delight: During the next three months, you will discover and uncork a new thrill. Fifth goody: Between now and your birthday in 2016, you will develop a more relaxed relationship with perfectionism.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): A "wheady mile" is an obsolete English term I want to revive for use in this horoscope. It refers to what may happen at the end of a long journey, when that last stretch you've got to traverse seems to take forever. You're so close to home; you're imagining the comfort and rest that will soon be yours. But as you cross the "wheady mile," you must navigate your way through one further plot twist or two. There's a delay or complication that demands more effort just when you want to be finished with the story. Be strong, Libra. Keep the faith. The wheady mile will not, in fact, take forever. (Thanks to Mark Forsyth and his book *Horologicon.*)

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Trying improbable and unprecedented combinations is your specialty right now. You're willing and able to gamble with blends and juxtapositions that no one else would think of, let alone propose. Bonus: Extra courage is available for you to call on as you proceed. In light of this gift, I suggest you brainstorm about all the unifications that might be possible for you to pull off. What conflicts would you love to defuse? What inequality or lopsidedness do you want to fix? Is there a misunderstanding you can heal or a disjunction you can harmonize?

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Is feeling good really as fun as everyone seems to think? Is it really so wonderful to be in a groove, in love with life, and in touch with your deeper self? No! Definitely not! And I suspect that as you enter more fully into these altered states, your life will provide evidence of the inconveniences they bring. For example, some people might nag you for extra attention, and others may be jealous of your success. You could be pressured to take on more responsibilities. And you may be haunted by the worry that sooner or later, this grace period will pass. I'M JUST KIDDING, SAGITTARIUS! In truth, the minor problems precipitated by your blessings won't cause any more anguish than a mosquito biting your butt while you're in the throes of ecstatic love-making.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): In this horoscope, we will use the Socratic method to stimulate your excitement about projects that fate will favor in the next nine months. Here's how it works: I ask the questions, and you brainstorm the answers. 1. Is there any part of your life where you are an amateur but would like to be a professional? 2. Are you hesitant to leave a comfort zone even though remaining there tends to inhibit your imagination? 3. Is your ability to fulfill your ambitions limited by any lack of training or deficiency in your education? 4. Is there any way that you are holding on to blissful ignorance at the expense of future possibilities? 5. What new license, credential, diploma, or certification would be most useful to you?

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): The story of my life features more than a few fiascos. For example, I got fired from my first job after two days. One of my girlfriends dumped me without any explanation and never spoke to me again. My record label fired me and my band after we made just one album. Years later, these indignities still carry a sting. But I confess that I am also grateful for them. They keep me humble. They serve as antidotes if I'm ever tempted to deride other people for their failures. They have helped me develop an abundance of compassion. I mention this personal tale in the hope that you, too, might find redemption and healing in your own memories of frustration. The time is right to capitalize on old losses.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): It's never fun to be in a sticky predicament that seems to have no smart resolution. But the coming days could turn out to be an unexpectedly good time to be in such a predicament. Why? Because I expect that your exasperation will precipitate an emotional cleansing, releasing ingenious intuitions that had been buried under repressed anger and sadness. You may then find a key that enables you to reclaim at least some of your lost power. The predicament that once felt sour and intractable will mutate, providing you with an opportunity to deepen your connection with a valuable resource.


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